Elizabeth Lee passed away peacefully surrounded by her sons, Lee and Wayne Altenberg, in Honolulu, Hawaii, from peritoneal carcinomatosis, at age 87.
Elizabeth was born in the Panama Canal Zone to Marian and Alfred Boyd, who worked there as a civil engineer. They soon moved to Kansas City, and Elizabeth grew up in San Antonio and Little Rock. She went by “Betty Anne”, began her 14 year training in ballet, and graduated at the top of her class from Highland Park High School in Dallas. She began college at SMU and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1950 with a B.A. in Dramatic Arts.
For seven years she worked in the Bay Area as a professional dancer, including the Oakland Ballet, actress, model, drama coach, choreographer, writer, and director in stage, motion picture, commercial photography, and television. She met her husband-to-be Roger Altenberg when she auditioned for a play he directed in 1953. They married in 1954. She and Roger moved to Los Angeles where he was a theatre professor, and they had their two sons.
She continued theater and taught dance in Pasadena, and continued when they moved to Camarillo. They divorced in 1969. From 1973-1979 she was married to Bruce Mayo. She moved near cousin Bonner in Arkansas for three years before moving to Pacifica’s Casa Pacifica in 1999, where she went by “Liz”.
She was guided on her spiritual path by Lorena D. Hayward, a Christian Science practitioner, the Church of Religious Science, Unity, Sisters of the Holy Names, and numerous benevolent spirits who graced her life.
Elizabeth is survived by her two sons, Lee Altenberg of Honolulu, Wayne Altenberg and his wife Jennifer of Moraga, and their two sons Ray and Ross.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1125 Terra Nova Blvd. followed by a reception at Casa Pacifica.